The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

  • Title: The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone
  • Author: Olivia Laing
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 475
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The Lonely City Adventures in the Art of Being Alone What does it mean to be lonely How do we live if we re not intimately engaged with another human being How do we connect with other people When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid thirties
    What does it mean to be lonely How do we live, if we re not intimately engaged with another human being How do we connect with other people When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis Fascinated by the experience, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art Moving fluidly between works aWhat does it mean to be lonely How do we live, if we re not intimately engaged with another human being How do we connect with other people When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis Fascinated by the experience, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art Moving fluidly between works and lives from Edward Hopper s Nighthawks to Andy Warhol s Time Capsules, from Henry Darger s hoarding to David Wojnarowicz s AIDS activism Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone, illuminating not only the causes of loneliness but also how it might be resisted and redeemed.Humane, provocative and deeply moving, The Lonely City is about the spaces between people and the things that draw them together, about sexuality, mortality and the magical possibilities of art It s a celebration of a strange and lovely state, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but intrinsic to the very act of being alive.

    • [PDF] Download ✓ The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone | by ☆ Olivia Laing
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      Published :2019-04-10T21:51:43+00:00

    About Olivia Laing


    1. Olivia Laing is a writer and critic Her first book, To the River 2011 is the story of a midsummer journey down the river Virginia Woolf drowned in It was a book of the year in the Evening Standard, Independent and Financial Times and was shortlisted for the 2012 Ondaatje Prize and the Dolman Travel Book of the Year.Her second, The Trip to Echo Spring 2013 , explores the liquid links between writers and alcohol Hilary Mantel described it as one of the best books I ve read on the creative uses of adversity It was shortlisted for the Costa Biography Prize and the Gordon Burn Prize, and was a book of the year in the New York Times, Time, Observer, Times, Economist and Statesman.Her new book, The Lonely City 2016 , is an investigation into loneliness by way of art, including Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper and David Wojnarowicz Peter Carey described it as continually unexpected, stimulating and beautifully structured Laing has been the deputy books editor of the Observer, and writes for The Guardian, New York Times, Frieze and New Statesman among other publications She is a MacDowell and Yaddo Fellow, was 2014 Eccles Writer in Residence at the British Libraryd has received grants from the Arts Council and the Authors Foundation She lives in Cambridge, England.


    949 Comments


    1. It took me some time to read this simply because I found it riveting, beautifully written, and I wanted to savour it. Olivia Laing is a British writer and critic who moved to New York to be with her American partner only to find the relationship disintegrating. She falls prey to a crippling loneliness which gives rise to this hybrid memoir and art history on the theme of loneliness; and how she finds an alleviation of her loneliness through the visual arts. Given her family history, she focuses [...]

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    2. What does it feel like to be lonely? It feels like being hungry: like being hungry when everyone around you is readying for a feast.As a person who spends a fair amount of time by himself, I was drawn to the subject matter of this book. I would say that I'm very comfortable in my own company but there are periods of isolation that I don't always enjoy. God I'm making myself sound like a total recluse here! To be clear I am blessed with lots of terrific friends but as an introvert I always need p [...]

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    3. Whereas alcoholic writers were the points of reference for her previous book, the superb The Trip to Echo Spring (2013), here outsider artists take center stage: Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, Henry Darger, and the many lost to AIDS in the 1980s to 1990s. It’s a testament to Laing’s skill at interweaving biography, art criticism and memoir when I say that I knew next to nothing about any of these artists to start with and have little fondness for modern art but still found he [...]

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    4. The Lonely City by Olivia Laing is an investigation of loneliness in a city of eight and a half million people. Laing is a columnist for frieze and write for the Guardian, New Statesman, Observer, and New York Times. Her previous books are To the River and The Trip to Echo Spring The Lonely City opens with a discussion of loneliness and the idea that you can be lonely anywhere but there is a special sense of loneliness when one is surrounded by millions of people in an urban environment. Laing t [...]

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    5. Not a bad book, but not what I was looking for. I didn't realize to what extent the book would focus upon sexuality, AIDS and abused individuals. Even ordinary people, people with less serious problems than those studied in this book, are troubled by loneliness, lack of communication and meaningful contact with others.The author wanted to get a handle on the loneliness she felt when her partner left her. She was in her mid-thirties and she felt utterly alone, alone in NYC. We are told that she w [...]

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    6. I will always be lonely.And this book just validated that feeling some us have had and still having and will continue to have, for the rest of our lives. While some may think that it is a weakness, artists mentioned in this book (which I never knew existed, thanks Olivia) used loneliness as their means of doing their artworks to its best. At the time that technology hasn't reached its peak yet, these people turned their pain into something beautiful—art. Instead of looking for a way to dismiss [...]

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    7. This was my first non-fiction book for a long time, and I was very curious both about the subject of loneliness, but also to see what was hidden behind the beautiful cover. Basically, Olivia Laing explores how it is to be lonely in a city surrounded by people. She has lived in New York City for a certain period of time herself, and during that time she felt extremely lonely. This non-fiction book isn't just about her personal experiences, though, because it also dives into other artists' experie [...]

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    8. 3.5 starsI would give the last three pages of this book 20 stars if I could, for exploring the under-discussed topic of loneliness with such wisdom and compassion. In The Lonely City, Olivia Laing writes about her experience with loneliness after moving to New York City. She blends her time in New York with analyses and biographies of various artists, including Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz, and more. I loved portions of this book because Laing opens herself up to such a probing, [...]

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    9. لا أعلم لماذا يعتقد الناس ان الجحيم هو مكان حار يحترق فيه كل شئ. هذا ليس جحيما. الجحيم هو أن تكون محاصرًا في عزلتك في كتلة من التلج. هذا ما مررت به.

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    10. The subtitle of The Lonely City, 'Adventures in the Art of Being Alone', has a double meaning: as well as being a book about the experience of loneliness itself, this is a book about the role of loneliness in art. The starting point is Olivia Laing's own period of intense loneliness, living in New York after the end of a relationship, bringing to life the so-often-true cliche of being alone in a crowd, isolated and displaced in the centre of one of the world's most populous cities. She makes a s [...]

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    11. A pretty rare 5 star rating for me but this was a terrific book, very poignant and moving but at the same time it was educational and informative - and beautifully written.After a love affair goes suddenly and badly wrong, Laing finds herself living in a small sublet apartment in New York. Nothing new about a writer describing the feeling of being alone in the midst of a bustling city. And yet Laing's meditations are wonderful and lead in so many directions - for example the use of a mask to hid [...]

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    12. Powerful, relevant, timely and resonates with where our society finds itself, especially in urban communities. Great quote, "learning how to befriend yourself and understanding that many things that seem to affect us as individuals are in fact a result of larger forces of stigma and exclusion, which can and should be resisted. Loneliness is personal, and it is political. Loneliness is collective, it is a city." Another great aspect of this book was how the author not only weaved in contemporary [...]

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    13. While Liang's writing and research are impressive, this didn't come across as a cohesive work for me. The loneliness theme felt forced, and every time it was introduced I often felt that the artists discussed weren't in fact lonely but simply dedicated to their craft. In addition, I was put off by the amount of content that seemed to be directly pulled from Wojnarowicz's " Close to the Knives". I'd like to read this book in the future, and Liang seems to have simply summarized the plot points an [...]

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    14. I live alone, and by alone I discount two barnacle-like cats who obviously think I'm the tops. So I was attracted by Olivia Laing's title, especially the subtitle "Adventures in the Art of Being Alone." I thought, hmm, is there an art to it? Am I missing something that might make me feel less isolated from the teeming world? And at first I believed the book might be headed in the direction I assumed, towards artful solitary living. Despite the great writing, I was left slightly disappointed. The [...]

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    15. En un principio pretendí escribir una descripción del libro, como de costumbre. «Reflexiones sobre la soledad» «La prosa es de una belleza excepcional» He tenido que asumir que no puedo hacerlo, simplemente porque este caso no funciona así.Leer The Lonely City es una labor exigente para la que no hay anticipación posible. Requiere trabajo de introspección, de pensamiento; te fuerza más allá de las fronteras de tu limitada experiencia. A mí me ha hecho sufrir. Me ha hecho sufrir porqu [...]

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    16. Olivia Laing launches her book with the idea that “loneliness might be taking you towards an otherwise unreachable experience of reality,” which may be true and worth avoiding whenever possible. A longtime bachelor myself, I tend to distinguish between loneliness and solitude. (For me the difference depends on having a cat.) But I’m happy to be convinced, à la Laing, that the saving grace is art.The Lonely City begins as an earnest exercise in ekphrasis. In the wake of endless monographs [...]

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    17. La semana pasada terminé esta lectura y aunque en un principio dije que haría reseña en el blog, sigo sin saber muy bien qué contar de La ciudad solitaria. Le he dado cinco estrellas, me ha maravillado y entristecido a partes iguales, pero no quiero quedarme solo con eso, por eso, hasta que encuentre las palabras adecuadas para hacer una entrada como merece, os dejo aquí una mini reseña que, espero, os haga añadirlo a vuestra lista de pendientes. ¿Cómo nace La ciudad solitaria? Pues, di [...]

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    18. This had an interesting premise and started out promising, with the author reflecting on her own experience lonely in NYC after moving there from overseas. In the first couple chapters, it was somewhat interesting, albeit depressing, to learn more about some well-known artists and how loneliness shaped them and their work. By the third chapter, however, I gave up. When another artist's biography quickly devolved into a list of the many specific horrible ways he was abused by his parents, I had e [...]

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    19. This book had me at its title. And lost me at chapter three. While the readers' reviews and introduction chapter promise me a fun discussion about loneliness from the perspective of psychology and philosophy, this book is more about artists' lives than the concepts of loneliness itself. Laing tries to interpret loneliness by analyzing, say, Andy Warhol's paintings and his appearance on TV and so on. I expected empirical research findings of loneliness instead of short memoirs, though. This is a [...]

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    20. 'The Lonely City' by Olivia Laing2.5 stars/ 5 out of 10 My favourite section was that relating to Edward Hopper, which I found interesting and informative. The section concerning 'Nighthawks' taught me a lot that I didn't know about the painting. Other sections that were of interest included those about Greta Garbo, and some of the descriptions of New York itself.I didn't find the chapter concerning Andy Warhol and Valerie Solanas as interesting, probably because I knew much more about them in t [...]

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    21. A beautifully written thought piece on loneliness that is a must read for anyone who identifies with the concept of being lonely. As a mental health sufferer (depression, anxiety, OCD) I have to face feeling lonely every day. What Olivia Laing does here, is look at the factors of life that can cause us to feel this way - whether it's from our childhood situations lingering with us or whether it's our modern addiction to the connectivity of electronic devices.Throughout the book Laing looks at se [...]

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    22. For me, if I am in the right city, even if I am utterly alone there, I can be blissfully happy. Because the city feeds me, the city becomes my friend, and I feel too full of myself and life to even want anything else. Montreal, for me, is the greatest friend I’ll ever have. She’s still home, and I miss her so very much. Glasgow. Glasgow is another city that, for me, makes it impossible to even remember what it feels like to be lonely. Berlin, too. And, to a lesser extent, London. Then there [...]

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    23. So there I was, all braced for this to be a slightly tiresome, stream of conscious outpouring on Sontag/Derrida/de Frou Frou/Kugelschreiber and the heuristics of contemporary post-feminist discourse, in Brooklyn and some fantastic coffee shops - or summat. What a pleasant surprise to find instead a readable, thoughtful journey through the worlds of a range of canonical artists - the focus very much on the material and the artist. And that this is art - Edward Hopper, Warhol, Klaus Nomi, Basquiat [...]

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    24. Laing, the author of the wonderful The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking, is back with a part cultural criticism, part memoir on the subject of loneliness. What is loneliness? What constitutes being alone? Laing takes a look at lives in the era of electronic connections, and shares her personal experiences of being lonely in NYC, the city that never sleeps, and how she used art to explore the concept of loneliness, and learn what things bring people together. Fascinating and poignant. [...]

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    25. It’s difficult to write about books that affect me the most. Of course I was drawn to this non-fiction book because the title is so in line with my blog’s title. As well as being a platform for me to ponder what I’m reading, I like to think of my blog as an ongoing exploration on the conflicted relationship I have to literature – how it can make me feel so connected to our larger shared humanity. At the same time, it makes me physically alone and reading itself can serve as a self-impose [...]

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    26. The hustle and bustle of city life can often be just as isolating as time spent alone, a situation Olivia Laing experienced after moving from England to New York City. Her new book, The Lonely City, is a deep dive into feelings of loneliness through the lens of several artists who personified it; among them Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, and Henry Darger.While the first half of The Lonely City is interesting, the book becomes truly beautiful as it nears its conclusion. Branching from ruminations on [...]

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    27. منذ فترة لم أقرأ كتاباً لا يخيب ظنّي. وأجمل ما في قرائته هو الشعور بالتورط الممتع عند البحث عن كل إسم، كتاب، لوحة أو فيلم ورد فيه.تقريباً لا تمر أكثر من صفحتان دون التخطيط عليها. الخلاصة التي انتهت إليها -وان بدت بديهية- إلا أنها في السياق الأخير للكتاب كانت جميلة جداً:"ما يهم ف [...]

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    28. "The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone" (2016) is the third book written by British literary critic NYT bestselling author Olivia Laing. "To the River: A Journey beneath The Surface" (2011) is a somewhat geographical account surrounding the River Ouse, the Sussex river that claimed the life of Virginia Woolf in 1943. "A Trip To Echo Spring" (2013): these superbly written biographical portraits of 6 American (deceased) alcoholic writers include Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzge [...]

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    29. It took me AGES to finish this book, not because I didn't like it but because I did so, so much. While reading it, I'd stop periodically to marvel at the density of research--so clearly presented--packed into each gorgeous sentence. I'd reread entire pages so I could feel the rhythm of them again. On the bus, I'd stop reading to stare out the window a bit, watch my own city go by, and then suddenly I'd be at my destination, the time passed thinking about the ideas on loneliness and art and selfh [...]

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